Suggestion to Constitutional Review Commission and Legislature: Define “Free Public Schools” and Limit School Board “Home Rule” Authority To That Definition

Every 20 years, Florida convenes a Constitutional Review Commission to consider possible changes to Florida’s Constitution, and to then place those proposed revisions on the ballot.  The Constitutional Review Commission convened this year, in anticipation of the November 2018 ballot.


Preamble to the Florida Constitution of 1865

Many of us have observed first-hand the overreach of our local school boards beyond classroom “reading, writing and arithmetic” into collectivist “collaborative partnerships” with various non-government community organizations. This is classic mission drift that surely goes beyond our state’s constitutional framers when they drafted Art. IX, Section 4(b) which provides that the School Boards shall operate the “free public schools.”

The problem is, “free public schools” has never been defined, and to this day the Florida Attorney General and Florida courts struggle to understand the outer limits of that term.

Adding to this problem, in 1983 the Florida Legislature gave school boards “home rule power,” telling them in essence that they can do whatever they want — without any check from other branches of government — unless the Legislature has “expressly prohibited” the school board from acting on that subject.  Here is an excerpt from an  Florida Attorney General advisory opinion drafted shortly after the 1983 legislative change:

Section 230.03(2), F.S. [now 1001.32(2), F.S.], currently provides: “SCHOOL BOARD.–In accordance with the provisions of s. 4(b) of Art. IX of the State Constitution, district school boards shall operate, control, and supervise all free public schools in their respective districts and may exercise any power except as expressly prohibited by the State Constitution or general law.” (e.s.) Section 7 of Ch. 83-324, Laws of Florida, deleted the language contained in s. 230.03(2), F.S. 1981, which stated that district school boards may exercise any power “for educational purposes except as otherwise provided by the State Constitution or law” and added the language “except as expressly prohibited by the State Constitution or general law.” (e.s.) Since the issuance of AGO 83-72, it has been the position of this office that the 1983 amendment conferred on school boards a variant of “home-rule power,” and that a district school board may exercise any power for school purposes in the operation, control, and supervision of the free public schools in its district except as expressly prohibited by the State Constitution or general law. See also AGO’s 84-95, 84-58.

Most people will agree that local control of schools is a good thing, and thus the concept of “home rule power” is also a good thing.  But most people would also agree that our public school system should focus on education in the classroom, plus traditional extracurricular activities such as athletics, music, academic clubs, etc.  Schools go beyond their mission when they delve into (i) instructing parents on how to be better parents; (ii) providing welfare to students; (iii) providing affordable housing; and (iv) “collectively collaborating” with local non-profits on pet projects such as “Future Ready Collier” and NCH’s self-serving special interest “Blue Zones Project.”  These all take the eye off of the ball of teaching in the classroom; they are expensive; and they create a bloated school district administration that becomes an out-of-control behemoth.

As Joe Whitehead analogized on his 8/19/2017 radio show, the behemoth bureaucratic administration becomes like “Hal 9000,” the computer in 2001: a Space Odyssey, which takes on a life of its own and serves itself rather than the people it was originally designed to serve.

So here’s a simple proposed solution to this mission drift:

1. Constitutionally define “free public schools” under Art. IX, Section 4(b) of the Florida Constitution.  Limit it to teaching students within the four corners of the school district campus, with focus on reading, writing, arithmetic, science, fact-based American history, and traditional extracurriculars.

2. Legislatively amend Fla. Stat. Section 1001.32(2) to allow school board home rule power only within the constitutional definition of “free public schools.”  The amended statute might read as:

(2) DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD.—In accordance with the provisions of s. 4(b) of Art. IX of the State Constitution, district school boards shall operate, control, and supervise all free public schools, as constitutionally defined, in their respective districts and may exercise any power except as expressly prohibited by the State Constitution or general law.  For actions or matters beyond the scope of free public schools, district school boards may not exercise any power except as expressly authorized by the Legislature.

(changes in bold).

3.  Legislatively define the statutory terms “educational purposes” and “school purposes” in alignment with the new definition of “free public schools.”

4.  Constitutionally (or at least legislatively) prohibit school boards from engaging in “for profit” activities such as after-school child care, or affordable housing.  All school board programs should be “revenue neutral,” with the school board required to provide studies containing sufficient data to demonstrate fiscal neutrality.

ADDITIONAL ITEMS FOR FURTHER CONSIDERATION BASED ON THE PREMISE THAT SCHOOL DISTRICTS HAVE BECOME TOO BIG, BUDGETS TOO LARGE AND DIFFICULT TO TRACK, AND SUPERINTENDENTS HAVE TOO MUCH ABILITY TO CONSOLIDATE POWER, NOT JUST WITHIN THE SCHOOL SYSTEM, BUT IN THE COMMUNITY:

5.  Amend Fla. Const. Art. IX, Sect. 4(a) to define a “school district” as something smaller than the region of each county.  That may have been appropriate a century ago when Florida’s population was smaller and more spread out, but it now consolidates too much power in a centralized school district administration.  (Take, for instance Collier’s  annual budget which now for the first time exceeds $1 billion).  Alternatively, keep the “county” geographical limits for a school district, but break it into elementary, middle and high school subdistricts, each with a separate superintendent and budget.  Some may counter that this will lead to fiscal inefficiencies in areas such as busing, athletic fields, etc., but this can be resolved legislatively by allowing inter-district sharing of such resources and services.

6.  Change F.S. 1010.33 to state that each School Board “shall” (not just “are authorized to”) have its own independent certified public accountant to perform its own annual financial and performance audit.  In other words, take this out of the hands of the superintendents, who may otherwise too easily control these audits. 

6.  Provide term limits for superintendents.  They have too much ability to “roll up” individual power by their connections within the community, serving themselves more than the students.  Also provide a prohibition on superintendents lobbying school boards once they depart.

7.  Recognize that individual school board members were elected by the people as their policy-making representatives.  Enact legislation authorizing any school board member to add a policy item to the school board agenda, so that the rights of the “minority” board group may be heard and not subverted by all-powerful superintendents and the “majority” board members they all-too-often control.


Constitutional Review Commission member / Collier School Board member Erika Donalds

We in Collier County are fortunate to have one of our school board members, Erika Donalds, serving on the Constitutional Review Commission.  In fact, Ms. Donalds chairs the “local government” panel and serves on the “education” panel , which includes Article IX of the Constitution which needs amending as mentioned herein.  Ms. Donalds would do well to consider the foregoing constitutional proposals, with local state representatives Byron Donalds and Bob Rommel leading on the legislative issues.**

** (Particularly Mr. Donalds, who now serves on various k-12 legislative subcommittees.)


State representatives Byron Donalds and Bob Rommell

 

 

Bob Harden Interviews David Bolduc on “The Bob Harden Show”

Local conservative commentator Bob Harden interviewed B&B’s David Bolduc about the link between the flawed American History lessons our children receive in today’s public schools, and the present cry for the removal of Civil War statues.

Says Bob:

“Why are we taking sides on this anyhow?  It really happened and we can learn from it.  But we have to understand it first, and that’s basically what’s wrong with our schools right now – not necessarily on the science side (although I do worry about that), but mainly on the history and social studies, kids are not getting good information.”

Click below for the audio podcast:

 

Beware the False Reporting on Trump, Charlottesville, and the Need to Erase History By Destroying Statues

The tag line and mission of Bolduc and Bracci is to “Level a Tilted Playing Field.”  This references the well-known fact that there is an extreme leftist-liberal bias in the media.  Presently, the media complex is working in lockstep to destroy President Trump, and is using Charlottesville as its new front.  Through false reporting, the media is working to paint Trump as a white racist bigot, despite his decades-long career in the public eye showing he is anything but that.

It is difficult to put this issue into words, but writer Dov Fischer, self-described as a “Jew from the North,” does a good job of stepping back and putting today’s issues into perspective, discussing the truth about what Trump actually said in totality, and providing real history references.   His article at Spectator.org  is titled “And Yet President Trump, In His Classically Inartful Way, Was Absolutely Right.”

That article is linked here: (click)

Fischer on Trump’s statements:

Is Our County’s Worship of Superintendent Kam Patton Enabling a Culture of Teacher-Student Sex Abuse?

In yet another Naples Daily News hero-worship editorial fawning over Superintendent Kamela Patton, today’s back-to-school piece is titled  “A Year Tough to Top as Collier Schools Open Wednesday.”

The editorial references the return of Collier County’s students and teachers “for a  year of challenges perhaps no greater than ‘Can you top this?'”  In typical fashion, the NDN editors regurgitate Patton’s talking points about the pyrrhic “A” grade the school district received this year (despite a myriad of “D” schools and 29% third grade reading proficiency at one school).

The editors then cite areas where the School District still needs improvement citing “teacher retention and housing,” convincing the Legislature to become “more supportive of traditional public education,” and — given that Patton’s annual budget has now crashed through the $1 billion glass ceiling — suggesting the “hire of an independent financial analyst for a risk assessment.”**

**NOTE:  the editors are covering for Patton here.  The “risk assessment” is Patton’s proposed watered-down review, so she can avoid the more intense “internal audit” which School Board members Donalds and Lichter propose.

Notably missing from the NDN’s list of proposed public school improvements is to cut down on the number of school teachers allegedly having sexual relationships with the students. 

Hey, NDN editorial board — where’s that proposed improvement?  How about some giving “kicks” to the School District?

  1. For the second time in the past 6 months, one of Patton’s high school teachers is alleged to have had sexual intercourse with a student.  The first time, it apparently got swept under the rug by the School District’s own investigation and the Collier County Sheriff Department.  As reported by the NDN in an article titled “Collier Teacher Reinstated After Investigation Into Sexual Allegations“, despite a written statement by the former student confirming the sexual relationship and allegations that one of Patton’s administrators interfered in the investigation, Kevin Rambosk’s Sheriff’s department refused to press charges.

When brought up as a topic at a school board meeting in July, Kam Patton scolded board member Kelly Lichter for her inquiry  in a “how dare you not trust me” manner, then reassured board members that Patton already had a half-hour late night call with her good pal Sheriff Kevin Rambosk to address the “article.”  As to the content of that discussion with Rambosk, Patton did not say.

Hey Kam – why in the world is the top school administrator speaking to the top sheriff??  Isn’t this like Bill Clinton talking to Loretta Lynch on the tarmac?  Why are the two “top dogs” talking, rather than letting the detectives and other trained professionals do their job?  Were you trying to get to the bottom of it with Rambosk — or were you instead chastising Rambosk for not having more control over his underlings, especially that pesky detective who gave your administration a black eye by calling out how one of your principals “interfered” in the investigation?

The Sheriff’s department refused to press charges in the first reported case despite a sworn statement from the alleged victim.  To little surprise, the School District’s own investigation “found no evidence to prove [the] student’s statements that she had engaged in sexual activity with the teacher,” and guess what — THE TEACHER IS BACK AT WORK AT THE HIGH SCHOOL!

Now, this week, it is reported that a male Naples High School teacher had sexual intercourse with a 16 year-old female student, and had been “sexting” at least two female students. (click for link). He faces “two felony charges of sexual assault of a victim 16 or 17 years old.”  According to the news report, the teacher has admitted to having sexual intercourse with the student.  BUT INSTEAD OF FIRING THE TEACHER, THE PATTON ADMINISTRATION JUST REASSIGNED HIM TO WORK AT THE MLK ADMINISTRATION BUILDING!

Keep in mind, this isn’t a case where someone is “innocent until proven guilty.”  The news report is that this teacher admitted to the sex acts.  AND PATTON HASN’T FIRED HIM?  What enabling message does that send to the next teacher?  “The District’s got your back?”

Given the School District’s obsession with social media, where is the District’s accountability for the fact that this teacher reportedly used Instagram and Snapchat to lure his alleged victims?  Where is the editorial board’s critique of the District’s excessive focus on social media, Bring Your Own Device, etc.?  Just look at the District’s web page — it’s not a government information page, it’s marketing and self-promotion – encouraging educators to waste time “tweeting” rather than teaching.

If Patton’s administration cannot police its own teachers operating within the public school buildings, how does the District plan to ensure the safety of its students involved in all of the community outreach, such as through “Future Ready Collier” which is a so-called “collaborative” effort whereby the District is strategically pushing our students out into the workplace where they will be mentored by the unvetted public?  (Future Ready Collier will “Provide community-based internships for 100% of career academy and other interested students.“)  At the August school board meeting when board member Kelly Lichter asked Patton about any school board policy on Future Ready Collier designed to ensure the safety of students being mentored at internships, administrator Peggy Aune struggled to provide any meaningful response identifying any such policies or procedures.

Where is the NDN editorial board on this topic?  Instead of asking such questions, the editors encourage this type “collective collaboration” hook, line and sinker — because guys like their own NDN President/Publisher William “Bill” Barker are a part of this educational mission drift.***

***Barker is chair-elect of the Naples Chamber, and board member of Champions for Learning — both part of Future Ready Collier.

It’s time for change at top – time to bring in someone who will focus on the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic, and time to focus on the four corners of school district’s operations, and student safety, without all of the distracting outreach.  And frankly, it’s time for a real news source other than the highly conflicted, collectivist agenda-driven Naples Daily News.  (Enter Bolduc and Bracci – so Get the Word Out.)

So where is the NDN editorial board talking about school district “improvements” in the area of protecting students from teacher-predators?  Kam Patton loves to compare today’s district scores and rankings to those of 6 years ago when she first arrived.  Click here for example.

If Patton likes to compare the District’s performance today to six years ago when she first arrived, then how about comparing the number of sexual assaults by teachers on students today, as opposed to 2011? Is Patton’s Communications Department tracking that statistic?


Superintendent Kamela Patton

Why is this relevant?  Because Patton came from the Miami-Dade School District where she was a former assistant Superintendent.  Patton worked there for 24 years.  This is where Patton learned on the job.  It is coming to light that Miami-Dade may be a breeding ground for teacher sexual assaults on students due to an enabling administration that had turned a blind eye during the period of Patton’s  tenure.  In a recently filed lawsuit, it is alleged that a Miami-Dade teacher repeatedly sexually assaulted a student.  This teacher had been accused of other incidents dating back to 2004, and yet the Miami-Dade administration  simply reassigned the teacher from one school to another, without being called to real account.

Here is a link to that lawsuit  (Warning to readers, there is a lot in it):

Complaint:  Jane Doe v. Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Aug. 2, 2017

Here is a link to two other news reports about that lawsuit and other recent teacher-student sex incidents in Miami-Dade:

“Are Miami-Dade Schools a Hunting Ground and Refuge for Sexual Predators?”, Dr. Rich Swier, August 9, 2017

“‘Jason’s Girls:’ Palmetto High Teacher Accused of String of Sexually Charged Relationships,” Miami Herald, August 3, 2017

Are the recent reports of Collier County teacher sex acts with students a harbinger of things to come here in our school district, similar what is coming to light in Miami-Dade?

Are recent events here in Collier County the result of lax enforcement by Patton and her administration?

Do they result from local leadership that protects the image of Patton and her administration at all costs, because Patton loves to “partner” with them and provide them with access to our school district?

Do they result from a local newspaper and sheriff’s department which Patton has strategically cozied up to over the past years, currying favor with them so that they will not do their jobs and hold Patton’s school district to account, either by news reporting or proper law enforcement?

Perhaps the NDN editors and others in our community also have some responsibility for enabling these incidents.  Perhaps their worship of Superintendent Kamela Patton is coming home to roost.

 

 

Is the Blue Zones Project Really a Do-Nothing Scheme that Only Helps NCH Hospital?

It’s about time that the Southwest Florida community revisit the carpetbagging “Blue Zones Project” that was imposed upon all of us by Dr. Allen Weiss’ NCH Healthcare System.

Question #1:  Has anyone in Collier County ever asked Allen Weiss what’s in it for NCH?  For instance, does it help NCH qualify to get Medicare subsidies under Obamacare as part of a new revenue-generating business model ?   If so, Weiss and NCH were not forthcoming with this self-interest while they peddled their pet Blue Zones project around town for the better part of the 2014-15 year.  Why else would NCH’s President dedicate so much of his efforts for a year, if not for some benefit to NCH’s bottom line?  But that was not their narrative provided by NCH to We the People.

Question #2:  If Blue Zones is so great, why did the publicly traded Healthways company have to pay $25MM or more to get rid of that division in Summer 2016? 

See this link:  https://www.equities.com/news/dr-oz-sharecare-aquires-healthway-s-stock-hway-sends-shares-33-higher-as-today-s-daily-mover

Note this quote from the article:

“In addition, Nashville, Tennessee-based Healthways is paying ShareCare $25 million upfront to cover expected losses from the population health business. It also agreed, if need be, to forfeit up to $20 million of its ShareCare equity stake to offset negative cash flow not covered in the upfront payment.”

Question #3:  If Blue Zones is such an organic movement, why do they only really “expand” by latching onto a government board who then imposes it on its workers, students, or the community at large?  Consider Blue Zones’ strategy to date.  First they latched onto the Naples Chamber and its “Opportunity Naples” affiliate (which include Weiss and pals such as Dudley Goodlette who then helped push the initial effort).  Next they latched onto our government boards including the Naples City Council, the Collier County School Board (thanks to Superintendent’ Patton’s closed door efforts with her elite pals where she was instructed to conceal the Blue Zones public record until after it was signed and approved), the Board of County Commissioners, and now the Bonita Springs City Council and the Estero Town Council.

The Blue Zoners also latched onto various sympathetic HOA boards around town who then impose it on their residents.**

** Kudos to the Oakes Estates Advisory Board who, in 2015, told the Blue Zones minions to get lost and never come back when they tried to infiltrate the freedom-minded residents who live off of Oakes Boulevard who are not governed by an “official” HOA.  This is the difference between an ad hoc board such as Oakes Estates, and your typical HOA which has the strong-arm ability to impose new rules and regulations on its members.

Get the Blue Zones strategy here?  “Organic” growth by force.

Where is the proof that the people of Collier County organically endorse Blue Zones?  Three years in, B&B does not see that evidence.***

***Note:  The first “Blue Zones Certified” restaurant in Collier County — the “Cider Press Cafe” — has long since shuttered its doors.   Apparently the marketplace of Collier County residents rejected its Blue Zones fare.

Question #4:  What exactly has Blue Zones done for our community that was not already happening before they imposed themselves on us back in 2014-15? 

Is it marching around the neighborhood with friends and neighbors?  People have been doing that here for years.  And the rest of society has advanced far past “walking moias” in their exercise choices, into things like Cross-fit, paddle boarding, etc.

Is it riding bikes?  People have been doing that for years.  We could give  statistics on the dramatic rise in interest (and purchases) in road biking since Lance Armstrong’s Tour de France success starting around 1999.

Is it eating well?  People will either eat well, or they won’t.  Organic food consumptions was already on the rise through the 2000’s long before Blue Zones.  Go ask Alfie Oakes about the efforts of his father, Frank Oakes – who founded the popular “Food and Thought” store over a decade ago on U.S. 41 in Naples.

Is it pushing infrastructure such as new pathways that “we the taxpayer” have to pay for, with credit to “Blue Zones?”  The Naples Pathway Coalition has been working hard since the 1990s – long before Blue Zones – and they are much more responsible for the new pathways, bike lanes, etc., than Blue Zones ever has been.  Modern day planning principals endorsed by the Urban Land Institute (ULI) have long-since pushed pathways and neighborhood connectivity.  These concepts were not initiated by Blue Zones.

Question #5 – If BLue Zones is so helpful, why did they start in the healthiest part of Collier County — and avoided the impoverished town of ImmokaleeIf this isn’t about NCH and money, then why wouldn’t NCH start in Immokalee where good health is more in demand?  Instead, they have left that for last.  Even by Blue Zones’ own standards conducted by their own self-serving “Gallup-Sharecare Wellbeing Survey,” Naples was already #2 in the country in terms of health before Blue Zones arrived in town.  So why start in Naples, where the marginal increase in healthy living would be very small?  If they were sincere they would have started in Immokalee, where the marginal increase could have been much greater.

The same pattern occurs nationally with Blue Zones.  They don’t target impoverished areas such as Mississippi or inner-city Detroit.  Instead, they seem to target markets with an already existing and functioning health care/hospital system.  Thus, see Question #1 above.

So what, exactly, do we the people of Southwest Florida all get out of Blue Zones?  And why should they get the credit for all of these successes that started long before their carpetbagging arrival in our community?

Beware the Terms “Civility” and “Collaboration” — They Mean Disenfranchisement

On July 13, William “Bill” Barker and his fellow Naples Daily News editorial board members resumed their cowardly effort to destroy Collier school board member Kelly Lichter because they are afraid that she will expose the failures of Collier County’s local deep state.  You see, Lichter’s Mason Classical Academy is running circles around Superintendent Patton’s traditional public schools, and Patton and Barker are fellow Naples Chamber pals.

Local elitists such as Barker cannot tolerate their lack of control over a principled local public official like Lichter– and thus they are attempting to destroy her just like the national deep state is trying to destroy the non-conformist President Trump.

In an editorial describing the need for “civility” and “collaboration” among local elected officials, Barker’s editorial board concludes that Lichter is “boisterous” and thus a problem.  Citing no evidence whatsoever, the editorial board asserts that “while four of the five board members have demonstrated an ability to respectfully debate and disagree, member Kelly Lichter is the boisterous one.”

Bolduc & Bracci in recent weeks have exposed the Naples Daily News’ bogus attacks on Lichter,  leaving them only with yesterday’s pathetic attack on Lichter’s “civility.”

To back up their feeble claim, Barker and his editors dredged up a quote by the establishment-conformist school board member Stephanie Lucarelli saying “I’m sorry you need to be so disrespectful.” (The editors refer to Lucarelli as “affable,” perhaps due to Lucarelli’s propensity to laugh at herself while straining to complete a sentence while on the dais.)

The elitist NDN editors apparently think so little of their readers’ intelligence that they do not even provide the background for the exchange between Lichter and Lucarelli.  Did Lichter have a basis to be disrespectful  towards Lucarelli?   If Lichter felt that Lucarelli was once again attempting to undermine Mason Classical’s success, then Lichter had every right to defend that school’s students and families from Lucarelli’s institutional bullying from the dais.

A “real” news organization would inform the reader on that background.  But not the Naples Daily (Fake) News.

The attack on Lichter is unfounded. She is labeled “boisterous” and “uncivil” only because that is the narrative the NDN has painted.  If you listen to Lichter’s message repeated over-and-over at school board meetings, she wants to focus only on education, and get rid of the special interests of Superintendent Patton and her pals, such as Blue Zones and the outsourcing of other “community partnerships,” which take the School District’s eyes off the ball of reading, writing and arithmetic — those basic lessons that are driving Mason Classical’s success in the classroom.

Watch for yourself – Does Kelly Lichter sound “boisterous,” or does she simply want to keep the District out of the pet projects of Bill Barker’s pals such as NCH/Allen Weiss’ Blue Zones Project?

So beware the NDN’s use of the terms “civility” and “collaboration.” This is liberal deep state code for “conformity” to the establishment.  Barker and his high-ranking pals at the Naples Chamber have set their own self-serving agenda such as Blue Zones societal control for the benefit of NCH Hospital, tax increases that will mainly serve the county’s largest land owners, outsourcing school board governance to a nebulous Chamber-hatched organization called “Future Ready Collier,” and retaining a Superintendent who provides them with access to the School District, its students, and its $1BB budget.

Note to Readers:  Are you aware that NDN President Bill Barker is also the Chair-Elect of the Naples Chamber?  Does anyone think that is healthy for our community?

The local establishment cannot tolerate someone such as Lichter — who is a threat to their gravy train.

Government officials who do not conform to Collier County’s local deep state will be branded “uncivil” and even “boisterous.”  By contrast, those conformist politicians such as Lucarelli who mindlessly do the deep state’s bidding with their lock-step voting will be deemed “affable.”  Better terminology might be to refer to the likes of Lucarelli as our local establishment’s “useful idiots.”

We the People know that our elected public officials are not there to be “civil” or to “collaborate” if that means that they must set aside their own principles — those same principles our elected officials pledged to their constituents that they would follow once voted into office.  The establishment’s demand for “civility” and “collaboration” are really attempts to bully our local elected conservative officials into silence.  They are terms designed to disenfranchise We the People, in pursuit of the local establishment’s self-serving agenda.

So as we move into the 2018 election season, beware what you read in the Naples Daily (Fake) News, particularly when the article mentions “civility,” “collaboration,” or the “Naples Chamber.”

Those candidates who are “uncivil” just might be the best of the bunch.  And that which the Naples Chamber says is necessary should be doubted.

The Other Side of Collier County’s “A” School District Rating

This week, the State Department of Education reported that the Collier County School District has returned to an “A” district.  This, of course, is generally good news.  But as always, one must look under the statistical hood to see how this rise from “B” to “A” was achieved in one year’s time.  More on this to come soon in a B&B post…….

Meantime, on yesterday’s 6/29/2017 edition of the popular local “Bob Harden Show,” host Bob Harden referenced Bolduc & Bracci’s recent post as a news source in which we cited national journalist and author Alex Newman and exposed the problem of the School District’s terribly low third grade reading scores.  Mr. Harden concluded that despite the school district’s “A” score, this exposes the problem with the establishment and the School District.  Here is that segment, courtesy of “The Bob Harden Show.”

 

Bob Harden: “I think this exposes exactly what the problems are with the Establishment and what’s going on in Collier County Schools.  Again, we spend $22,000 a student to educate our kids here in Collier County, about almost double — maybe more than double — than what the average is across the country and yet we get pretty mediocre results.” 

Deirdre Clemons, a local parent who has extensively written and spoken publicly on issues of education, Common Core, and deficiencies in the way in which students are taught in our public schools, also responded to the District’s reported “A” rating as follows:

“Too bad we are still 45th in the nation in college ready scores. In other words, not college ready at all. All your good scores don’t mean a thing if a child is not educated well enough to get into a good college or well enough to support oneself independently with a job skill – one in which they can advance and earn enough to raise a family in a safe neighborhood.

 I would love to see the numbers on how many Collier kids go to college, how many get scholarships (the amounts and reasons why), how many remedial classes they have to take to get caught up, how many finish college and on what timetable, what grades they end up with, what debt they end up with, and if they can get jobs in their field at a decent living wage to be independent of their parents. And I would also ask them if they thought their education was worth it. 

While CCPS is busy trying to make itself look like Massachusetts in education, the joke is on the parents, and the tragedy is on the kids, and their future. “Future Ready Collier” is just a name. Smoke and mirrors is what Ms. Patton is best at, besides self-aggrandizement. Shame on the Collier County public school system for working so hard to make the administration look so great, great enough for all those folks in the admin building to make the big bucks, while these poor children are left behind the rest of the nation. You would think that spending more than twice as much as every other county, 22k per child, we would be a shining model.  You certainly are taking the taxpayers for a ride. It is absolutely shameful.”

Ms. Clemons’ response was a summarization of a more thorough guest commentary which the Naples Daily News refused to publish a year ago.  That guest commentary is linked here as part of B&B’s featured “Letters Not Published by the Editor.”

Thank you Bob Harden and Deirdre Clemons for your contributions to today’s post.

National Writer Recognizes Mason Classical’s Phonics Reading Success; Slams District and Naples Daily News for Interference

Alex Newman, author of “The Newman Project” education blog, international writer for The New American, and co-author of the book “Crimes of the Educators,” published a post today titled “Charter School Rejects Common Core and Ranks #1.”

Newman exposes how Mason Classical Academy has dramatically outperformed Collier County’s traditional public schools in third grade reading proficiency by utilizing phonics rather than the Common Core method of “whole word” reading.  Writes Newman:

“As if more evidence was needed of this, the recent Florida Standards Assessments results from Collier County, Florida, make it perfectly clear. One school, known as the Mason Classical Academy, shines bright in the district. It scored number one in English Language Arts (ELA) in the county, with 90 percent of its third graders scoring proficient.

By contrast, just 58 percent of third graders in the county were proficient, even using Common Core’s dumbed-down metrics.”

Newman also correctly noted what Bolduc & Bracci have touched on here locally in articles titled Master of Puppets and Daily News Propaganda Machine  – that Mason’s success is a threat to Superintendent Kamela Patton and her traditional public school system.   Thus, instead of looking to emulate Mason’s success, Patton’s administration seems more interested in placing road-blocks in the way of Mason’s success by requiring it to change its teaching structure to be more aligned with Patton’s pet globalist “AdvancEd” accreditation organization (Patton has an admitted conflict here as she also serves on AdvancEd’s Florida state committee).

In other words, rather than competing against Mason Classical by improving third grade reading scores in the traditional public schools, Patton seems more interested in diminishing the competition.  And the Naples Daily News has been played right along.  This did not escape Newman’s notice:

“Anyone who follows government schools and the education establishment will probably not be surprised to learn that, of all the schools in Collier County, MCA alone is being targeted for attack. From the district superintendent and racist kooks on the left-wing fringe to the local establishment propaganda organ known as the Naples Daily News, owned by “fake-news” publishing giant Gannett, it seems like everybody is after MCA.

Why would the local establishment target the one school that is at the top of the charts? Well, probably because MCA’s proven success exposes the educational establishment and its true agenda. MCA shows that children can, indeed, be properly educated. And it shows yet again that the national illiteracy crisis is the result of quack pedagogy in the government schools.

“Kudos” to Mr. Newman for recognizing Mason’s success here locally, and “Kicks” to the Naples Daily News and the District for attempting to undermine Mason’s success.

Local “Respected Educational Leader” Ed Morton Says Women Make Less Money Due to Genetics

Ed Morton, who just last week was touted by the Naples Daily News editorial board as a “respected educational and civic leader” as a means to justify a contract extension for Superintendent Kamela Patton by his endorsement, has been exposed by the national media for his assertion that women make less money than men due to “genetics.”

As reported by Politico on June 20:

A state higher education official said colleges should teach women how to negotiate better salaries, saying there may be a “genetic” explanation for why female graduates of the state’s public universities make less money than their male peers.

Board member Ed Morton, who was appointed by Gov. Rick Scott, made the remark during the State University System’s board of governors meeting on Tuesday when members were discussing ways to close the pay gap between men and women graduates of Florida schools.

The Politico article went on to quote Morton:

“Something that we’re doing in Naples [with] some of our high school students, we’re actually talking about incorporating negotiating and negotiating skill into curriculum so that the women are given — maybe some of it is genetic, I don’t know, I’m not smart enough to know the difference — but I do know that negotiating skills can be something that can be honed, and they can improve,” said Morton, a retired investment manager who chairs the board’s strategic planning committee.

“Perhaps we can address that in all of our various curriculums through the introduction of negotiating skill, and maybe that would have a bearing on these things,” he said.

As usual, Bolduc & Bracci was well ahead of the curve, prophetically calling “foul” on Morton as a “respected educational leader” in a June 16 post.  You can count on B&B to “level the tilted playing field” against the biased and oftentimes false reporting of Collier County’s’ worn-out traditional “paper of record.”

B&B agrees with Morton that his comment demonstrates that he is likely “not smart enough.”   B&B also believes that just as negotiation skills can be “honed,” so too can one’s ability to think on one’s feet without putting one’s foot in one’s mouth.  Perhaps Morton needs some continuing education of his own.

Morton’s comment slamming women for their “genetic” weakness was so toxic that Governor Rick Scott, who appointed Morton to the state university board, ran for cover:

Asked for a response, Scott’s office sought to distance the governor from his appointee’s comment.

“As a father of two daughters, the Governor absolutely does not agree with this statement,” his spokeswoman, Lauren Schenone, said in an email to POLITICO Florida.

In his comments above, Morton refers to a new high school program in Naples.  It seems he is referring to a very sketchy school district program called “Future Ready Collier,” which most of us know nothing about and was implemented by Patton into the school district strategic plan in May 2016.  It was first hatched by Patton and her pals at the Naples Chamber and its affiliate organization, “Opportunity Naples.”  “Future Ready Collier” is some type of creepy “mentor” program where  local business men and women team up with students in an effort to teach them about business and life.  B&B has not seen any process by which the school district vets these mentors.  What could possibly go wrong?

Morton’s mysogenist comments about women’s “genetic” business inadequacies should greatly trouble us all.  If Governor Scott chose to distance himself from Morton, should not Superintendent Patton and the School District do the same?  Of concern to Bolduc & Bracci is that the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce is a partner in “Future Ready Collier.”  This includes Ed Morton as an honorary director.  Parents and the public should be assured that Collier County’s students are not subjected to Morton’s mysogenist views about women’s “genetic” predisposition to underachieve in the business world.

This is not the first friend of Patton who has run into trouble this year.  In a strangely parallel fact pattern reported in the Fort Myers News-Press on April 13, 2017 titled “Why Didn’t the FDLE Investigate Two FGCU Trustees?”, fellow local elite Chamber member and university board of trustee member Dudley Goodlette was very curiously given a free pass by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for alleged violations of the Sunshine Law.

Dudley Goodlette himself said he did not realize he was violating the Sunshine when he was meeting directly with a fellow board member to discuss official business behind closed doors.  Said Goodlette:

“I just wasn’t thinking of this being a conversation that had anything to do with our relationship as board members,” Goodlette said. “It was sorting out the issues that we were dealing with on the strategic plan.”

*  *  *

“There was nothing secretive,” he said. “It was an honest error on my part not to have realized that (it should have been a public meeting).”

That’s funny, Dudley — we thought you were an expert in the Sunshine Law, considering how you were specially appointed as “neutral mediator” in the case of Bracci vs. Patton regarding alleged Blue Zones Sunshine Law violations.  Dudley — an attorney himself — apparently had no problem serving as a “neutral” despite having served on the Blue Zones Committee, as well as several other committees alongside Superintendent Patton.

Patton even awarded Dudley with “Principal of the Day” honors about a month after his service as the “neutral” mediator in the Blue Zones case.

Dudley Goodlette with Superintendent Patton – a Neutral Mediator??

Ed Morton and Dudley Goodlette – two peas in an elite pod.

The only remaining question we have is whether Morton will again make his once-annual pilgrimage to the Admin Building in June 2018 to pander for another contract extension for his pal Kam Patton…….or whether Patton will instead banish Morton to a principal assignment in Immokalee for bad behavior.

Note:  Ed Morton is now Managing Director at Wasmer, Schroeder & Company, Investment Advisors

If Allen Weiss is So Influential, Why is He Pandering For Votes?

Last week, NCH President/Naples Chamber board member Dr. Allen Weiss circulated an email shamelessly begging people to vote for him as one of the “100 Most Influential People In Healthcare.”

[Click here for Weiss’ email]

Perhaps we are missing something here, but if Weiss is so influential in healthcare, why does he need to pander for votes?

Amongst Weiss’ justifications is his advocacy for the Blue Zones Project which he and other elites including Superintendent Kamela Patton and NDN Publisher William “Bill” Barker, orchestrated behind closed doors under instructions to conceal their public record work product until after they had signed it, as reported by B&B on  April 7, 2017.

The Blue Zones Project and Weiss’ “most influential” campaign have one thing in common:   both strive to appear as if they are organic movements, when really they are just smoke-and-mirrors being imposed upon the public by the Collier County elite deep state.

What better way to strengthen their imperial power than to have one of their own gain nationwide status.